Archive for September, 2021

(A joint operation with the Boo.)

We got our awesome fish over the summer. If you’re in St. Louis and ever want fish, we recommend going to the amazing Aqua World.

If the fish could talk, here’s what they would say:

We eat our babies!
(That’s the mollies talking.)

I am blind and not very smart, but I am cute.
(That’s the frog. We had two, but one died.)

We like it here, they feed us good food.
(The rasboras really like brine shrimp apparently.)

We look like sea snakes, but we’re really fish.
(The loaches, they only come out when it is dark.)

We are WAY cooler than neon tetras!
(The black neon tetras are a little vain.)

We think we’re cooler than the black neon tetras because we glow in the dark!
(The glow tetras. Don’t tell them, but they don’t *actually* glow.)

I don’t know how I died.
(The ghost of the dead frog. We don’t know either, buddy.)

We don’t like it in the freezer, please let us out!
(The ghosts of the snails, awaiting a proper burial.)

And now you know all about our awesome fish.

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Pandemic Hobbies

The current state of our dining room table has nothing to do with dining.

Like the rest of the world, lockdown left me with oceans of time at home with my loved ones and fewer options for what to do with all that time and togetherness. So naturally, I picked up a new string of hobbies. Here are some that stuck around for the long haul; see if you can spot the theme!

  • Legos. My hobby by default until the Boo got really good at those RIDICULOUS DIAGRAMS UGH SERIOUSLY SO MEAN! Now I alternate between avoiding helping with Legos and using it as a connection point with the Boo.
  • Refusing to get a pandemic puppy/COVID cat/lockdown lizard. Just… no. (I finally caved to fish after a year-plus.)
  • Walking around eating bags of chips. Not just any chips. Spicy ones. Different kinds. These are my current favorites. But these are a very close second.
  • Crosswords. Easy ones, hard ones, doesn’t matter. Love them all even if I can’t figure out all the obscure literature/sports/historical references.
  • Jigsaw puzzles (such a cliché, I know, but the pandemic has given me the gift of not caring if anyone thinks I’m a living cliché).
  • Bird-watching! (Again, cliché, again, don’t care. Birds are far more entertaining than 90% of what’s on our four streaming services — I mean, have you ever actually seen a murder of crows chase a hawk? Or a hummingbird going to town on pine sap?).
  • Trying all the dark chocolate options available from Trader Joe’s. Pro tip: Stay away from this one unless you like the taste of asphalt.
  • Hoarding Trader Joe’s marshmallows. Seriously. The best. Ever. Also vegan, BTW.
  • Riding the stationary bike while re-watching all my favorite shows: Schitt’s Creek, Call the Midwife, Ted Lasso…
  • Obsessing about paint colors for various rooms — because while life and death decisions are now easy for me, choosing the right color demands months of consideration.
  • Insomnia, specifically: Being awake between 2:30 and 4 whilst reviewing all the occasions on which I’ve failed as a mother/sister/daughter/aunt/spouse/human being.
  • Researching all the trips I want to take once the Boo is vaccinated.
  • Sitting outside several times a day, preferably with food and/or beverage, staring into the treetops, because nature really is healing, y’all.

So that’s my list. What’s on yours?

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Two years since my last post. And I can’t even blame the pandemic for all of it.

The last time I posted, the Boo had just started second grade. He loved his teacher, and she was a great match for him. He was riding the bus to and from school most days, and hating it most days.

We all know what happened five months later, so I won’t bore you with that.

Instead, I’ll focus on the good news: We’ve remained healthy, employed, and reasonably happy. We’ve been able to lean on each other on tough days, and have (mostly) enjoyed the bonus time together. We haven’t lost anyone we love. On the whole, as cliché as it sounds, the ongoing stress and adversity has brought us closer.

Meanwhile, the Boo has been growing up. Third grade was remote, and tricky at times, but it gave me a new window into how he learns, and a deeper appreciation for what a great kid he is. He managed to remain connected to his friends, and though his social skills slipped a bit, they’re coming back. He hates that he’s not eligible for a vaccine, and that there’s no set date for when that will happen. Sometimes that causes big messy feelings, but he understands the why of all that, and he communicates his frustration, which to me is WAY better than him clamming up.

It’s funny to think of how he was two years ago. I’m not even sure I remember, exactly. He’s definitely taller, and funnier, and sneakier than he used to be. Harry Potter movies have given way to Star Trek: Next Generation and (some of the) Marvel movies. The Apollo program has become somewhat of an obsession, and he wants to go to Space Camp, even if he has to eat foods he doesn’t like (for the record: that’s HUGE). He’s definitely gotten more independent and confident in his abilities, which brings us to what happened the last time we cooked together.

We decided to get together with my mom for a Labor Day meal, so naturally, we needed a cake. The Boo decided on a mix (Trader Joe’s, don’t judge, they use ingredients you can pronounce!) and then announced he’d do everything himself, because “cooking is a life skill, mom!” I’d occasionally forget not to help, whereupon he’d yell, “Don’t help me!” I was however allowed to ask questions and comments like, “What are you going to stir that with?” and “I’d highly recommend doing that over the sink.”

Friends, he did everything except take the cake out of the oven (nobody wants to go to urgent care on a holiday!), and that’s when I found the note. He’d taken it upon himself to document the perfect burner level for melting butter — right down to the map of *which* burner the note pertains to. (Actually a crucial detail when your stove has ridiculously/wonderfully specialized burners that trip up the adults in the house.)

Makes me wonder what will happen next time he cooks. I’ll let you know — and I promise you won’t have to wait another two years.

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I'm over 50. I'm raising a fifth grader. Sometimes he posts too.


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